Yves Simoneau Helming WWI Story Harlem Hellfighters

October 21, 2008

Harlem Hellfighters

We've got George Lucas' Red Tails, about first African-American fighter pilots in WWII, heading into production soon; Spike Lee's Miracle at St. Anna, about four black soldiers from the all-black 92nd Infantry Division in WWII, just hit theaters last month. Next up is Harlem Hellfighters, written by Travis Adam Wright (of Eagle Eye), that tells the true story of black soldiers from Harlem who brought jazz music to France when they were sent there during World War I. Lord of the Rings producer Rick Poras will help co-produce with Wright and Canadian filmmaker Yves Simoneau has signed on to direct. Wright has high ambitions for the project and hopes to assemble a cast of "the greatest living black actors."

The project will most likely shoot in the US and Gaul. Wright has already started talking with the French Ministry of Defense about recreating a half a mile of trenches and hopes to begin shooting in July. I'm not at all that familiar with WWI history, but I already really like the sound of this project and will be supporting Wright and Simoneau as best I can. I haven't yet seen Miracle at St. Anna and don't know too much about Lucas' Red Tails, but something about this story specifically sounds like it could be better than both of those. The photo above is an actual photo of the Harlem-based WWI soldiers returning home in 1919 (via Flickr). We'll be sure to let you know who they end up casting. Any suggestions?

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  • harlem shake
    Damn no comments? Is this a sign of whats to come at the Box office? Well, I'm down for this movie.
  • Kilo Alpha
    Bout time FS. Yea no comments on black films is extremely odd to me too on FS as I've been campaigning for more reviews. I'll be there tho.
  • C
    Denzel Washington Djimon Hounsou Don Cheadle Will Smith Forest Whitaker Jamie Foxx Terrence Howard Laurence Fishburne Cuba Gooding Jr. Michael Clarke Duncan I'd say Morgan Freeman too but he's too old to play a soldier
  • tzarinna
    I'll have to think about casting, but I love that photo. I'm not familiar with the story, which is sad on my part.
  • Josiah
    @3: you forgot Chiwetel Ejiofor.
  • BRBomber
    I think you need younger actors for this film. Most of #3's list are older, most over 40. they can't realisticly portray the young men who fought in world war 1. besides, djimon hounsou isn't even American. How about that black guy from Hairspray, Elijah something?
  • Chris
    Oh, about the versatile young actor from "Passing Strange," Chad Goodridge. I bet he's gonna blow up when the film comes out.
  • Jack
    This idea was stolen.
  • sue
    when are open castings for this film?
  • Sage
    Someone needs to tap A.K. Murtadha for this project. He's one of hollywood's best kept secret's right now.
  • Duck
    Know all about this story. Fascinating!! Andre Braugher IS James Reese Europe. Omar Epps as Henry Johnson Terrence Howard Michael Clarke Duncan Wynton Marsalis and a host of young musicians (hip hop or Jazz) as the Harlem Hellfighters' Band members




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